Do federal clerks take their vacation days?

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Anonymous User
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Do federal clerks take their vacation days?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:47 pm

I heard that you get about 3 weeks of vacation. Do people use it?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Do federal clerks take their vacation days?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I heard that you get about 3 weeks of vacation. Do people use it?

Depends entirely on your judge. In the district where I clerked, the judges usually signed off on putting their clerks on the Leave Act, but that didn't mean you took the vacation that accrued (which was 4 hours per pay period, not 3 weeks) as you wanted it. Any time off is at the judge's discretion. Most people just cashed out the accrued leave when they left the job (or you could transfer it if you were going to another federal position).

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Re: Do federal clerks take their vacation days?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:15 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I heard that you get about 3 weeks of vacation. Do people use it?

Depends entirely on your judge.


This.

I know of judges with a 100% honors system--come in and leave as you go, but make sure the work gets done. I'd actually say this is the most common expectation.

I know of a few who are more strict and ask you not take off any time if it's a one-year gig. My friend's judge had 11-month clerks: his clerks are expected to work every non-weekend/holiday day but then he gives them the last month they're supposed to be there entirely off.

My judge's policy is essentially work at least 40 hours and abide by her schedule. She's very flexible so long as the work gets done.

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ndirish2010
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Re: Do federal clerks take their vacation days?

Postby ndirish2010 » Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:34 am

I never record my days. My judge has the clerks come and go as we please, so long as everything gets done. I usually end up working about 50 hours a week. But I'm taking off all of next week to take a bar exam in another state across the country.

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Re: Do federal clerks take their vacation days?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:45 am

My judge didn't put us on the leave act, so we don't actually earn vacation days. The general rule in chambers is that we will be given time off for one visit home a year. That said, in exchange our chambers is really, really lax on letting us leaving during the work day to run errands.

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Re: Do federal clerks take their vacation days?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:22 am

This is highly dependent on the judge, and somewhat on the district. I'm in a competitive, east coast district, so I think the judges know they can get away with giving little time and still get plenty of candidates. My judge only allows us to take days off when s/he is out of chambers. That said, we do have flexibility to run errands and whatnot during the day, so long as we keep in touch and get our work done. Hours are about 60 per week, plus whatever you need to do on the weekends to stay afloat. I have friends who clerked in WDPA or NDNY where it was completely different - 30-40 hours per week with virtually unlimited vacation, but that seemed to be a case load thing.

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Re: Do federal clerks take their vacation days?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:30 pm

I officially was on the Leave Act during my first clerkship, but my judge had a pretty lax policy and we never actually had to record our time or anything. At the end, we were asked if we took more than 3 straight days off in a two week time period (working from home did not count as a day off even if we were away), and if not, we got the full pay (about 2 weeks worth). I was able to come and go as I needed to, and typically worked about 45-50 hour week (with long lunches).

My judge this year did not put us on the LA (and if we chose to be on it, he'd have us monitor our hours). Instead, we get one full week off whenever we want, and he's flexible with taking other days off as necessary for interviews and such.

In both cases, though, the expectation of course is that you have your work done.

Citizen Genet
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Re: Do federal clerks take their vacation days?

Postby Citizen Genet » Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:52 pm

My experience is similar to others.

Not on the leave act. First priority is have your work done on time.** Outside of that, we just have to clear it with the judge ahead of time. My judge has been very good about it; has said to schedule as many interviews whenever I want and is very flexible on time off.


**("On time" can also vary a lot from chambers to chambers. Some operate on a much more expedited timeline where you have a specific amount of time to get a draft in on particular types of motions; others are geared toward having all work completed for the six-month report, a report that lists how many motions a judge has that have been pending for longer than six-months.)

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arkhamhorror
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Re: Do federal clerks take their vacation days?

Postby arkhamhorror » Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:36 pm

Beating a dead horse here, but yes. I'm not on the leave act either but my judge lets me take a few days here and there so long as my docket is under control. I never take weeks off at a time though. If you clerk, definitely take your time off. You won't be getting any if you go back to a firm.

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Re: Do federal clerks take their vacation days?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:32 pm

Not on the Leave Act. The expectation is that we will be at work on work days, and that we will structure our vacations around federal holidays, Christmas, and/or the judge's scheduled vacation time. I don't think it would be a problem to take an additional day off once or twice during the course of the year to interview, for a wedding, a 4-day weekend (for, say, Memorial Day or July 4), etc. Leaving for an hour or two during the day to run errands, meet up for lunch with a friend, etc. is fine as long as we're not in trial or having hearings that day.




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